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Irish SMEs in crisis over late payments

Monday, July 28 15:50:47

Nearly two thirds (63pc) of small businesses in Ireland are adversely affected by late payments, a new survey has revealed.

Of those businesses that have experienced problems due to late payments, just over half (53pc) said that it impacts on their day-to-day cash flow management, a fifth said it has meant they have had to rein in necessary spending and 17pc say it threatens their ability to trade.

The figures come from the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that canvasses the opinion of business owners and managers across Ireland and Great Britain.

Managing Director of Close Brothers Commercial Finance, Harry Parkinson said: "This increasing debt burden is a worrying situation for small firms. Of the businesses we spoke to that are facing problems due to unpaid invoices, 50pc say that they are owed more than E20,000."

"This is constricting their cash flow and the knock-on effect is that it prevents them from being able to pay their suppliers on time, thus creating a vicious cycle."

Mr Parkinson continued: "It's a situation that needs to be addressed, and alternative funding methods such as invoice and asset finance present a solution. Invoice finance works to bridge the gap between raising an invoice and receiving payment. We are actively working with local firms to raise awareness and ensure that they have access to the guidance and funding they need to manage their cash flow and make the most of the assets they have at their disposal."

The survey also revealed that 31pc of firms in Ireland spend more than ten hours a month chasing unpaid bills.

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